Sunday, June 11, 2006

L.A. or Alabama

Any help for this reader?

I have been accepted into the MFA program at U of Alabama and Cal Arts and I can't decide where to go. I have visited both places and LA quite obviously blows Tuscaloosa away in every aspect but cost of living (I am a city boy)--I'd be looking at some debt to attend Cal Arts, at UA I'm fully funded. The people seemed equally cool and intelligent in both places. The draw to Cal Arts for me is my undergrad degree was in studio arts and I'm interested in arts criticism. I also think the jobs, connections, and opportunity (upon graduation) would be better in LA. But UA is free and a bigger name program. Am I wrong to be thinking about the LA connections? Is that too LA already?

Please help me, I'm supposed to decide in two days.


Dirty South or Tinseltown


Anonymous said...

Poetry or Fiction?

ds/t said...

oops sorry, fiction, kinda weird modernist type stuff. thanks.

Anonymous said...

It depends on what kind of person you are. You need some soul searching. Ask yourself whether you’ll be happy to spend the best years of your life with bamabros. If you’re looking at a manageable debt here, I’d suggest you stay where you’re now. And look at who’s running the fiction program: Steve Erickson or Michael Martone. Who do you like?

Anonymous said...

Erickson's better methinks. Does anyone know how these two rank to Tom's criteria?

Anonymous said...


Another option is to defer your admission at CAl for one year--many programs allow that--and go to Bama. Try to live there for one year. If you like it, finish the program. If not, come back to CAL or you can always apply to other programs this winter while you're in Bama.

ds/t said...

that's pretty sound advice, something i was considering.

how bout the us getting crushed by the czechs? that was ugly.

Anonymous said...

hey ds/t,
no advice here, but i am moving away from a rockin' place to go to alabama next year. i'm excited, but i share your apprehension. hope your decision goes well, and if you choose alabama, know that you'll have an ally.
And yes, that game was a blow out.

Amy said...

Zonks! I'm stoked about applying to Alabama in a few months, but I also wonder if my stuff, while thematically 'weird', is technically in sync with their range of accepted work. Might you be interested in e-mailing me a piece or two from your application? Pretty please? (Oh god--please!)

Also--episode 6 of Jim Behrle's The Behrle Show documents a trip through 'bama w/ Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Goransson. A little taste of the setting in there.


Amy said...

Oops. Here's the url:

Anonymous said...

Sounded to me like you wanted to be in LA. Trust your gut.

What did you decide?

ds/t said...

i've asked for an extension.... god knows why, but i'll freak out for a few more days.

ds/t said...

thanks to everyone who commented, and to K: see you in tuscaloosa.

smasheree said...

Good luck!!
What was the deciding factor?

SHANKY said...

I have visited both places and LA quite obviously blows Tuscaloosa away in every aspect but cost of living I'd be looking at some debt to attend Cal Arts, at UA I'm fully funded.Here i enjoyed the classes very much.but UA is namded anr bigger program.So i wish all the new students a very all the best.

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steve said...

You have joined in good program(Master of Fine Arts) MFA where we can create so many things, with your art. I think you better to live in place where you can clear your debts and also choose the place where you can live comfortably.
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